HOW ARE YOU COPING WITH THE STRESS AND ISOLATION CAUSED BY THE CHORONAVIRUS CRISIS?
Like most of you, I am definitely feeling the stress of this crisis. I will share some of my coping methods:
- Mediation: I have used the Calm App for years, yep even before LeBron
- Worship: Most church services have been cancelled. Our Church, Old St. Pats streams a Mass each week, so they were well prepared to step-up in this time of need. As of this moment, there are more than 26,000 views since yesterday. March 15, 2020 Mass
- Exercise-always a fall-back for me. Our Forest Preserves are wonderful. Get out and clear your head.
- Reading-get lost in some good fiction.
Post any helpful ideas you may wish to share.
From Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune 3/12/20:
1. Be generous.
Anxiety is its own contagion. A little act can break the chain. Make an effort — like the CVS guy did — to make someone else feel better, and you’ll feel a little better yourself.
So check on a vulnerable neighbor. Donate some money to a local food bank or another agency that may be overwhelmed as this health crisis spreads.
And don’t buy all the sanitizer on the shelf, unless you plan to give some away. Think communally.
2. Look for the light.
If you have the virus, or think you might, and you’re in “self-isolation” — our national word of the week — sit by the window. If you’re not self-isolating, step outside and face the sun. Natural light is the sanitizer of the dark soul.
3. Don’t wallow in the news.
Being informed is good. Constant news consumption is like bathing in a swamp.
Turn off the news. Turn on some music. Read a book. Phone a friend. Your mind reflects, in part, what you put into it.
4. Be careful where you get your information. Double-check before you share.
The COVID-19 news is scary, but there’s comfort in understanding where news comes from.
Did you read that viral post touting “serious excellent advice” from “Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases,” the one that says you can prevent the virus by drinking tons of water? Did you share it? Lots of people, including a famous TV personality, did. There’s no evidence the claim is true.
PolitiFact, run by the nonpartisan Poynter Institute, offers a guide called “7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.”
5. When you find yourself really mad at someone you care about, ask yourself: Is this just coronavirus anxiety talking?
Simply by asking yourself the question, you may calm down enough to realize how tangled your interpersonal anxieties are with the anxieties over the virus.
Really. It helps. Exercise. Meditate. Do some yoga. Take a walk. Get some fresh air, even if it means simply opening a window.
7. Don’t isolate even if you’re in self-isolation.
If you’re working from home or staying inside because you’re sick, stay connected through your phone or computer. Isolation can be anxiety’s petri dish.
8. Repeat this word: Perspective
This is not the first or the worst crisis in the history of humanity. And any crisis, by revealing systemic shortcomings in the ability to handle it, can lead to improvements.
It may not be the best medicine, but it doesn’t hurt. The other day while washing my hands for the zillionth time, a ditty wrote itself in my head and made me laugh. It was to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
How many times can a gal wash her hands
Before she goes out of her mind?
Yes, and how many times can she sing silly songs
While scrubbing them front and behind?
Yes, and how many times will she lather and rub —
Until both her hands are like rinds?
The virus, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The virus is blowin’ in the wind.
WGN radio anchor John Williams recruited a singer named Springbo to record it and played it on his show.
10. Think spring.
It’s coming. Daylight will get longer. The flowers will bloom. The trees will grow leaves. We’ll be reminded, again, that nature is a power we’ll never fully control, that life comes in seasons, that trees survive winter and the sun always returns.